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CULTURE AND CHRISTIANITY              123

The judgment upon Christianity goes on in the
cultural realm as well. All too often, as the
result of a false concept of asceticism, Christianity
has been hostile to creativity in culture: in
philosophy, -science, art, technics. It was only
by second-thought, almost too late, that cultural
creativity and social reform were sanctioned by
Christianity, and hence human creative culture
got out of Christian hands. The judgment is
passed on Christian piety, on the old idea of
asceticism. Asceticism was considered as an
end, rather than a means, and so came to be anti-
human, opposed to fullness of life and creativity.
Monastic asceticism often led to a dessication of
the human heart, and to a love of the abstract
instead of the concrete. And to-day monasticism,
both Eastern and Western, is passing through a
grave crisis. The world needs a quite new form
of monasticism, giving birth to a new piety.
Christian piety all too often has seemed to be
the withdrawal from the world and from men, a
sort of transcendent egoism, the unwillingness to
share the suffering of the world and man. It was
not sufficiently infused with Christian love and
mercy. It lacked human warmth. And the
world has risen in protest against this sort of
piety, as a refined form of egoism, as indifference
to the world's sorrow. Against this protest only
a reborn piety can stand. Care for the life of